You may have heard of the Philippines and its hundred beautiful beaches. There is always a place for you to swim, snorkel, dive, surf, or just bask under the sun to enjoy the view. But have you ever heard of riding on the sand in the Philippines?

Imagine a piece of Sahara desert, and you slide on its surface through a board like a toboggan on ice! That is an amazing adventure that can uniquely be found in Ilocos Norte, an arduous but rewarding 6-hour journey from Baguio. Laoag City and Paoay boast these spectacular sand dunes, but both nonetheless can give the same fun. It’s called Sandboarding.

The sand dunes may not be as vast as the deserts in Africa or the Middle East, but they are surprisingly located in overlooking hills near bodies of water.

La Paz, Laoag City
La Paz, Laoag City
(Photo courtesy: Adrenaline Romance)
(Photo courtesy: Two2travel)

Cogon grasses carpeted the sandy hills on the rainy season, but its desert-like beauty appears during the dry season. That’s the best time to visit and experience the activities you might want to go over and over.

Photo courtesy: Our Awesome Planet

Bumpy 4X4 Ride

Photo courtesy: Adrenaline Romance

The bumpy ride will truly bring out the kid in you, screaming and cheering in the fun as you circle on the sea of sand. This feels like Dubai!

Drive Solo with ATV

Photo Courtesy: Osterlund

Get that vibe of Mad Max Fury by driving ATV bike and try racing with the 4×4!


This is a must! It’s basically sliding yourself on the sand with a board, a type of surfing that doesn’t have the danger of drowning. There are many ways to ride a board on your way down the hilly sand dunes, but the bottom line is that you will be happy no matter what!

Photo courtesy:
Photo courtesy:
Photo courtesy: A Not-So-Popular Kid

Here is a video to excite you:

Side Trips

The sand dunes are the highlight of your travel in Laoag City or Paoay but there are other tourist spots you should not miss when you go to Ilocos Norte. Included in the list are the Paoay Church (which is a National Heritage), Pagudpud Beach, Bangui Windmills, and Kapurpurawan Rock Formation.